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house listen to the principles themselves, the president speaker boehner talk about these issues, i would rather be here because this is where so much of the same conversation is going to be taking place, and i get the opportunity today to talk to many of those principles directly involved in those negotiations, what's going to play out of the next couple months. it's a critical time in the country's fiscal history right now, tough decisions to be made. and again, honored. glad somebody people are watching as well over the internet and elsewhere. so we are going to begin some additional conversations here right now. i'm going to be talking about with members of congress but also to erskine bowles and alan simpson there. will he talk with some top economist about some of the choices facing those policymakers, but right now we are joined by one of the principals in the conversation to take place over at the white house in just about an hour or so, and that is gene sperling, the director of the national economic council. so i will invite him out there on the stage. so if gene sperling
that nancy -- nancy pelosi and john boehner don't do that? [applause] >> they don't really socialize. one reason that joe might work together, i knew joe and i love him. i wouldn't do anything mean to joe. so that is a lot of it. the times have changed so much. in the senate, one of the problems as they got away from regular order. you send a bill to a committee. you have an oversight hearing, you have an amendment coming u-boat, you go to the full committee and the house and then you go to conference. but they wound up getting a transportation bill. it's a combination of things. modern technology, frankly it is a 24/7 news media. it is the fact that the members leave their families back home. you can't be a good legislator two and half days a week. you have to work at it. the combination of those things, it contributed to the partisanship and the gridlock that we have now. the answer is simple. it is called leadership. men and women of goodwill, conservative liberals, republicans, and the president -- they say it is an easy and we have to get results. >> so i want to come back to that. l
. john boehner still in the house for the time being at the treasury. the president is back in the white house and harry reid is in the senate with a few more seats. why should i believe this would end any more positively than the summer of 2011? >> because again i'm not going to try to talk to you in optimism but let's look at what's changed. you have republican leadership acknowledging for the first time in this debate in public that it's agreed to increase in revenues as part of an agreement that helps restore fiscal balance. that's a very important change. you can debate on what motivated that change, and of course it's true that approach has been a popular very substantial support among the american people. you have a much greater recognition that the economy would benefit on a carefully designed balanced agreement on fiscal reform and putting it off indefinitely is not good for the country. that's important, too. and i also think again if you listen carefully to what people are saying and what many politicians are saying with many elected representatives are saying there's a lot of
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